tv Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Hearing on Evidence in Impeachment... CSPAN December 9, 2019 3:00pm-5:01pm EST
>> hey, i wonder if they'll switch -- >> and at this point on c-span, we're going to break away to fulfill our 40-year commitment to live coverage of the u.s. house. and on c-span3, we'll continue with your comments. the judiciary committee should be gaveling back in shortly. a live look at the longworth house office building. we've been speaking with robert melville, new york. i hope you're hanging on there, robert. go ahead with your comments. understanding they may gavel back in momentarily. >> caller: of course. no, thanks for keeping me on. you know, i think that, if anything, exemplified what i was talking about.
you can hear that smnippet, someone who's not informed it may seem long kaj logic logical. i've been watching this from the beginning. thank god i have a little time to stay tuned and see what's coming out of everybody's mouths firsthand. when i watch how that changes and transforms throughout the day through the different outlets, whether cnn, msnbc, fox, doesn't even matter, it's -- there's no real way for anyone to gauge what's going on unless they watch. so with the schedule the democrats have put forth and the speed at which they're plowing through it, therein lies the problem. it is going to fast no human could probably really ever keep up with it. so it's just sad to me as, like i said, a 20-year veteran of business ownership. it's not been easy. i work seven days a week. i work constantly to be able to almost take off a day. and just tune into the media to see what's going on. >> all right. i got to go to our democrats line. phoenix city, alabama.
this is donna. >> caller: yes. it's just a downright shame to think president trump could get away with obstructing justice after the overwhelming evidence that has stacked against him. even he, himself, has condemned himself nationally. it's painful, hurtful, and sickening to watch the republicans not have a conscience or have guts enough to just simply do what's right, which is impeach president trump. >> rochester, new york, on our others line. this is douglas. your thoughts so far. what are you expecting to get out of this impeachment hearing? >> caller: how are you? >> fine, thank you. >> caller: okay. here's my problem in a nutshell. the problem is is this is so divisive that, to me, me as the american public, and i have read that 300-page report, okay? and -- and trump should be
impeached. but why not use censure? can't you use censure as an option? you did that with andrew johnson, by the way, after the impeachment, he was acquitted for impeachment in 1866 by 1 vote. >> douglas in rochester, new york, saying he's read the report. just another report for you to read on our website at c-span.org is the just released department of justice, the inspector general report on the lead-up to the russia investigation. senator lindsey graham holding a news conference this afternoon, 4:00 eastern. our capitol hill producer, craig kapl kaplan, tweeting that the committee will hear the judiciary committee will hear from the inspector general on wednesday in their hearing. peoria, kansas, mark, go ahead, we're waiting for the judiciary committee, the house judiciary committee to gavel back in. >> caller: biggest waste of t taxpaye taxpayers' dollars are these hearings. he's going to get acquitted in
the senate, so why even bother? >> what have you heard so far that makes you think that the senate will acquit him? >> caller: well, the republicans have a majority. party line. they're just going to vote against it. >> all right. to ken in sarasota, florida, on our democrats line. >> caller: i have a question. i'm just curious that the republicans always talk about the fake news, whether it's a journalist or a news station. then all of a sudden, they want to quote from them. it seems kind of two-faced to me. when i grew up, you only talked out of one side of your face, not both of them. that's all i have to say. you have a good day. >> you as well, ken. the judiciary committee broke for about 20 minutes ago and saying it will be a 15-minute break. they're going to return to session here shortly.
let's see if we can get one more call. sam on our others line. go ahead. >> caller: hi. well, i'd like to address the pattern of behavior in the mueller report if you talk about that first. the democrats keep going back to that. looking right down the middle, if you look at the mueller report, the foundings of it with fusion gps, everything, you could tell that -- the steele dossier funded by the clinton campaign basically, and you can go all back to one big question for at least this hearing which is, where is adam? that's a great question. >> doug collins, the ranking member, talking to steve castor, intelligence committee republican, he and daniel goldman testified earlier and also are answering questions from all the members, the 41 members of the house judiciary committee. you're watching live coverage here on c-span3.
unanimous consent request before we start. >> gentleman will state his unanimous consent request. >> i would request that we enter into the record the fisa applications and other aspects of the fbi's crossfire hurricane -- >> i reserve a point of order -- >> i think if we're going to continue to -- >> what are you entering? >> the fisa report that just came out. >> oh. the -- we need -- >> the inspector general's report -- >> we'll -- >> this whole thing. >> we'll take that until we can review it, we'll rule on it late e i mean we'll hopefully grant it later. >> i withdraw my reservation. >> mr. sensenbrenner. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'd like to follow-up on the two series of questions the ranking member mr. collins directed at mr. goldman relative to the telephone company subpoenas and the inclusion of certain information in the majority report from the intelligence committee. let me say that there are two issues involved.
one rkthat is not involved in t legality of the subpoena. i believe that that was a subpoena that is fully authorized under the law and under congressional procedures. where i do have a problem and really big problem, however, is the fact that somebody made a decision to match certain data, mega megadata, metadata, collected through the subpoena with phone members of journalists and members of congress, and that is the beginning of a surveillance state which i think is outrageous, particularly since with the freedom act in 2013, we curtailed the nsc's ability about that. now, had chairman schiff decided to man up and come here and talk rather than hiding behind mr. goldman, his chief investigator,
as his surrogate, if you will, i think we could have gotten to the bottom of this and we could have taken action to make sure that this never happens again. i do not want to see members of congress through their subpoena power being able to subpoena telephone records of private citizens willy-nilly without any kind of cause or to match the numbers up with somebody else to see who they were talking to and then going the next step and publishing the results of that match in a report that the minority hadn't seen until it was released. that i think is an abuse of power. we're talking a lot about abuses of power here in the white house and in the executive branch. here we see a clear abuse of power on the part of the people who are prosecuting this impeachment against the
president of the united states. they should be ashamed of themselves. now, i come from the state where joe mccarthy came from. i met joe mccarthy twice when i was first getting into politics as a teenager. folks, you have made joe mccarthy look like a piker with what you've done with the electronic surveillance involved. it is something that has to be put a stop to now. it is something that has to be fessed up to now, whether it's you, mr. goldman, that authorized the matching and the publication or whether it was chairman schiff. i would have loved to put chairman schiff under oath so that he could be required to answer the same way you have, mr. golden, on how this all happened. but as one who has spent quite a
bit of time curtailing the excesses of the patriot act which i authored with the freedom act which i also authored, you know, the surveillance state can get out of control. this is a major step in the surveillance state getting out of control in the hands of the congress and in the hands of a majority party that wants to influence political decisions relative to politicians, in this case, president donald trump, that they don't like. and they haven't liked him from the beginning of his term. they have tried to talk about impeachment since the beginning of his term. they thought that the mueller report was going to be the smoking gun. it ended up being cap fiscal. now they're working on this. the steps they have gone, the violation of common sense, the precedent that they have
started, and looking at the way the chairman has conducted this hearing today and in the previous hearings, not even to allow mr. gaetz to make a point of order, that he can't see what you put on the screen, i think goes against the entire fabric, you know, of american democracy. shame on those who have done it, and if we want to get back to something objective, maybe it's time to push the recess button. i yield back. >> chairman nadler, can i just respond quickly on the -- only because it's -- >> mr. chairman, i yielded back. >> no, no, no -- >> i didn't ask him a question. i made a statement. >> the gentleman yielded back. the gentleman yielded back. ms. jackson-lee is recognized. >> let's get to the facts again. during the phone conversation on july 25th with president zelensky, president trump was narrowly focusing on his own political survival using his
public office for a private and political gain. the truth matters. then we heard counsel for the republicans say the president's concerned about foreign aid because you could kiss it good-bye. assuming that's referring to anti-corruption. let's look at the facts of the july 25th call. i happened to have read it just recently. which sharply illustrates the president's willingness to abuse the power of his office for his own personal benefit. the memorandum of that call is on the screen in front of you and it shows that president trump says, and by the way, right after president zelensky spoke about defense support and the javelins, i wou"i would lik to do us a favor, though." so this is a president's own behavior and words. mr. goldman, what was that
favor? >> the favor was to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory related to ukraine interference in the 2016 election. >> mr. goldman, the investigative committees received evidence from multiple witnesses who testified that president trump was provided specific talking points in preparation for the july 25th call geared toward protecting the american people's national security. is that correct? >> the talking points certainly were part of the official u.s. policy and included anti-corruption efforts and national security efforts, yes. >> those talking points were provided to help the president effectively communicate official u.s. policy interests during calls with foreign leaders, is that right? >> that is correct. it's a routine process that the national security counscil does. the president is generally able too use then or not use them. the witnesses said the president is not required to use them. what was is a startling here, he not only veered off from them, he went to his own personality interests. >> it's fair to say such talking
points signal the purpose of a given call. >> correyes. >> encouraged president zelensky to continue to promote anti-corruption reforms in ukraine which has a focus of american foreign policy in eastern europe. is that correct? >> so to be clear, the talking points created for the president or other principals to discuss specific matters that really protect the american people, is that accurate? >> is yes, generally. >> witnesses such as tim morrison, senior director for europe, testified about what was not in those talking points. >> now, mr. morrison, were these references to crowdstrike to the servering 2016 election, and vice president biden and his son, were they included in the president's talking points? >> they were not.
>> are you aware that it was -- >> no, it was not before and was not after this call. >> anything ever found of those investigations that might have occurred? >> i'm sorry, can you repeat the question? >> anything ever found of those investigations that may have occurred with respect to the former vice president? . >> every single witness said there's no factual basis for either of the investigations. >> so mr. trump did not use official talking points? >> correct. >> and there were fact witnesses who confirmed that? >> that's right. >> when you hear those words, do you hear the president requesting a thoughtful and well-calibrated anti-corruption program consistent with u.s. policy? >> so, mr. goldman -- >> we do not. we were hoping -- we recommended the president very clearly support what president zelensky had run on in his own election and what his servant of the people party had run on in its election where it received a majority mandate. >> that didn't come up in the call, did it? >> no, sir. >> so, mr. goldman, did the evidence prove that mr. trump
utilized his position of public trust in order to accomplish these goals, his goals, in order to hurt his domestic political opponent? >> yes, that's what the evidence showed. >> i've come to understand that america's values of democracy and justice must have the vital pillars of truth, factual truth, and trust. the former judge and one who said on this committee during impeachment in 1998, the truth matters. it's clear that the president really cared about -- did not really care about fighting corruption in ukraine but wanted his own personal interests to be considered. that kind of puts in perspective ambassador sondland that they didn't care whether ukraine actually investigated but really whether they just announced it. it is certainly well known that it is our duty as the president poses a continuing threat to under the constitution pursue the truth. that is our tooth. we are now proceeding to do our duty to find the truth. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
this is the second hearing on impeachment that this committee has held in the last week. i would submit that you're investigating the wrong guy. let's look at the facts. mr. castor, ukraine that's been at the center of attention in this impeachment hearing has historically been one of the world's most corrupt nations. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and under legislation that congress passed, the national defense authorization act, it was president trump's responsibility, his duty, to see that u.s. tax dollars did not go to ukraine unless they were making progress in reducing corruption. is that also right? >> yes, that's right. >> isn't it true that joe biden's son, hunter, had placed himself right smack dab in the middle of that corruption? >> yes, he did, burisma was one of the most corrupt companies in ukraine. >> contrary to what house democrats and many in the media would have you believe, the concerns about hunter biden's involvement in ukrainian corruption, they weren't a vast
right-wing conspiracy concocted by supporters of the president, are they? the concerns about hunter biden were first raised by the obama administration, is that right? >> that's right. also "washington post," lot of publications and the state department. >> and the obama administration's concerns about be biden didn't end there, did they? former ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch said she was coached by the obama administration on how to answer pesky questions related to hunter biden and burisma that might arise during her senate confirmation process, is that right? >> the state department was so concerned about this they gave her a mock q&a on this question. >> and nearly every single witness who testified at the intelligence committee impeachment inquiry agreed that hunter biden's burisma deal created at the very least the
appearance of conflict of interest, is that correct? >> that's correct. and, you know, the deputy assistant secretary george kent testified that there was an investigation into burisma, into their head, and they were trying to track down $23 million that he had taken out of the country. they were working with the united kingdom. they were working, united states, united kingdom, ukraine was working on tracking this money down, and there was an investigation, active investigation, going on and a bribe was paid and that prescribe was paid, it allowed him to get off scot-free. right around that time is when burisma went about sprucing up their board, shall we say. >> and yet, with all that evidence, the democrats on the intelligence committee under chairman schiff and now the democrats here are determined to sweep the biden corruption under the rug, ignore it, not let us call witnesses on it and instead, rush to impeach the
president, all to satisfy, i would argue, the radical left-wing base. the service to the country. imagine this, you got the vice president joe biden in charge of overseeing our ukrainian policy and his son, hunter biden, receiving 50 grand a month with no identifiable expertise in either energy or ukraine, yet the democrats won't let us present witnesses on that. so let's do the next best thing since we can't bring the witnesses here. let's watch a couple of videos. >> you didn't have any extensive knowledge about natural gas or ukraine, itself, though. >> no. >> the list that you gave me of the reasons why you're on that board, you did not list the fact that you were the son of the -- >> of course. >> what role do you think that played. >> i think it's impossible for me to be on any of the boards i just mentioned without saying i'm the son of the vice president of the united states. >> if your last name wasn't biden, do you think you would haven be asked to be on the board of burisma? >> i don't know. i don't know. probably not.
>> you know, joe biden got a little testy with a voter at one of his events in iowa last week calling a man a liar, challenging him to a pushup contest, among other things. and falsely -- falsely stating, once again, that nobody said there was anything wrong with his son's deal in ukraine. well, you know what, that's a lot of malarky. a lot of people have been saying that for quite a while now, and they're right, and what's worse is that, first, the intelligence committee and now this committee are conducting an impeachment investigation against president trump based on, as professor turley put it last week, wafer-thin evidence and ignoring evidence of a high-level u.s. official who actually did engage in a quid pro quo with ukrainian government, in fact, confessed to it in this video. >> i said i'm telling you, you're not getting a billion dollars. i said, you're not getting a billion. i'm going to be leaving here and i think it was what, six hours, i looked, i said i'm leaving in six hours. if the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.
well, son of a bitch. got fired. >> you're investigating the wrong guy, mr. chairman. >> gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, sir. mr. goldman, i'd like to bring us back to the next president, not to this president. not the next president. and stay focused on the july 25th call. president's abuse of office for his benefit, no one else's. now, as my colleague, ms. jackson-lee confirmed, the president's request for these investigations was not an objective of u.s. foreign policy. correct? >> that's right. >> is there any evidence that the national security council wanted an investigation into the bidens, burisma, or alleged ukrainian interference in 2016? >> no. >> any evidence about the state department wanting them? >> no. >> how about the dod? the dod want those investigations? >> no evidence of that. >> did any witness tell you that they wanted ukraine to investigate the bidens of the 2016 election? >> no. >> and we certainly know now that the ukrainians did not want it, either, in fact, they made it very clear they did not want to be an instrument, this is a
quote, "an instrument in washington domestic re-election politics." so, the only person who was a beneficiary from that investigation is president trump. and that's why everyone on the july 25th call knew it was wrong. they knew it was wrong. the investigative committee heard testimony from three witnesses who participated in that call. is that correct? >> yes. listened to that call. >> right. mr. goldman, even in real time, the witnesses who listened on that call testified they were concerned by the call. is that correct? >> yes. >> and, in fact, both lieutenant colonel vind lman and mr. morrin immediately reported the call to legal counselling , is roothat ? >> yes. >> why did they do so? >> lieutenant colonel vindman was concerned about the substance of the call, that it was improper. mr. morrison was concerned about the potential political ramifications if the call was released because of the substance of the call and the
political nature of the call. >> and they reported the call that they actually reported that to the internal legal channels. mr. goldman, i placed lieutenant colonel vindman's testimony about why he reported the call on the screen. am i correct his concern was based on the fact that the president was asking a foreign power to investigate a u.s. citizen? >> yes, and he was not the only witness to express that concern. >> am i also correct that he reported this concern because he thought it was a sense of duty? a duty that he felt something was wrong? >> yes. as you probably know, lieutenant colonel vindman is a purple heart award winner from -- medal winner -- from iraq and he has been in the department of defense for 20 years and has a great sense of duty and great patriotism to this country and felt, he compelled to follow that sense of duty and report it. >> ms. williams, vice president pence's aide was present for the call and testified as was brought out earlier that it was unusual and inappropriate, is
that correct? >> that's correct. >> now, when mr. vice president biden got involved with the european union and the imf and germany and france and said you got to do something about corruption, that was okay because they were doing something for the common good of a bunch of people as distinguished from what's going on here where somebody's doing it for their personal good, is that not correct? >> right. there's a distinction between doing an official act for an official purpose and doing an official act for a personal purpose. if i could just respond to something mr. castor said, when he said that the -- there were problems because zlochesky paid a bribe, head of burisma, that was exactly the type of contact that vice president bide wanted to shut down in ukraine. that was exactly the type of non-anti-corruption policies that vice president biden was objecting to using the official policy. so that's one of the reasons that he -- i mean, i don't know
if that was one, but that's the type of thing that he based -- he and the americans and the europeans -- based the -- >> that's the issue we got to get in this committee, to understand the difference between doing something for the national good, for the international good, for the common good, and for your own goods. that's the difference. got to get that across. those witnesses, many career nonpartisan officials thought it was wrong to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival. video. >> to investigate the vice president of the united states or someone who is a u.s. official, i don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that. i would also say that's true of a political rival. >> is it improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and a political opponent? >> it was improper, it was inappropriate. we said that at the time in realtime. >> again, our holding up of security assistance that would go to a country that is fighting aggression from russia for no
good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason, is wrong. >> and we are going to check that type of conduct. we are the people's house. i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentle mman yields back. mr. gomert. >> i had questions for the witness, mr. burke, but he has absconded so i'm going to use my five minutes but not to ask questions. it is interesting, though, to have heard mr. goldman refuse to answer question about the investigation. yet, he comes in here and the very reason he wants to see the president for the first time any president's ever been removed from office while he's been obstructing. he didn't answer our question. so, perhaps, if we're going to apply his sense of justice to him, it would be time to have him removed from his position. but that's only if we apply his -- his own standards and if
it weren't for double standards, some of these folks wouldn't have standards at all. but we were told also at the beginning that we would hear lawyers present evidence. lawyers are going to come in here -- now, what normally happens, and i've been in some kangaroo hearings in courts, not my own when i was there, but i have been mistreated in hearings before, but i have never seen anything like this where we don't allow the fact witnesses to come in here. we have the lawyers come in and tell us what we're supposed to know about those witnesses and about their testimony and about their impression and what the law is. this is outrageous. my friend, jim sensenbrenneré= said in 41 years he's never seen anything like what we have going on here to try to oust a sitting president. and it's also outrageous to hear people say, well, this man thought he was a king because he
said he could do anything he wanted when they know that that statement was in the context of whether or not he could fire mueller. and, of course, he could fire mueller. he could fire or not fire mueller. he could appoint a special prosecutor to investigate mueller and wiseman. i think he should have. that's his prerogative. he could have done anything about that he wanted. to take that out of context, say he thinks he's a king. let me tell you what a king is. a king is someone who says over 20 times, i can't do that, congress has to change the law on immigration then he decides, you know what, i got a pen, i got a phone, i'll do whatever i want, and by golly, he does. he makes new law with a pen and a phone. now, that is more like a monarchy. not somebody saying they can fire a special prosecutor if they want to.
regarding trees regarding treason, the constitution, itself, says you from to have two witnesses. not hearsay witnesses. none of this stuff that wouldn't be admissible in any decent court. no, that's two direct evidence witnesses that can come in and positively identify themselves, not something they overheard or some -- but actually be witnesses to treason. and yet, this group comes in here, they toss treason out in a report like it's no big deal. we can bring in a bunch of hearstay witnesses and then we'll have the lawyers testify and then throw a president out of office. this is so absurd. it's so absurd. now, we have witness come in and we're told he's going to be a witness. that's why he doesn't have to follow under the rules of decor decorum. and then i've never seen this. he gets to come up and grill his
opposing adversary witness. i feel like to be fair, if we were going to make this thing fair, mr. castor would be able to come up and grill mr. burke. but this isn't about being fair. it's not about due process. this is about a kangaroo system and let me tell you, those that think you've done something special here, you have set the bar so low. i'm afraid it's irreparable. i mean, just think we've had people already mention, you know, the next president, joe biden, we're told, gee, he may be the next president. well, we've already got the forms. all we have to do is eliminate donald trump's name and put joe biden's name in there because he's on video. he and his son. he basically has admitted to the crime that's being hoisted on the president improperly. so, i'm scared for my country because i've never seen anything
like this. this is supposed to be the congress. i came up here from a court where we had order and we had rules and i've seen nothing of the kind in here today. and it's outrageous that we're trying to remove a president with a kangaroo court like this. i yield back. >> chairman, if i could just clarify, treason is not in our report. i just want -- >> the gentleman yielded back. >> yeah, and it is mentioned in the report we got. thank you very much. >> gentle man yielded back. mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to get us back to the undisputed facts of the president's abuse of power. . mr. goldman, as a prosecutor in the southern district of new york, when you prosecuted drug conspiracy cases, was it standard practice for drug kingpins to try to beat the case by distancing themselves from the conspiracy and blaming their accomplices for the crime? >> all the time. conspiracies have different layers and the top layers make
the bottom layers do the work so that they're further removed from the actual conduct. >> okay. i'd like to ask some questions about the president's role in what ambassador bolton referred to as a drug deal. did the testimony and evidence compiled by the intelligence committee establish the fact that with respect to ukraine, rudy giuliani was at all times working on behalf of president trump? >> yes. mr. giuliani said that. president trump said that to a number of other individuals. and then those individuals, ambassador sondland, ambassador volker, also said that. >> thank you. may 9th, 2019, rudy giuliani on behalf of his client, president trump, spoke with a "new york times" reporter about his planned trip to ukraine and on that trip, he planned to meet with president zelensky, he said, and urged -- and urged him to pursue investigations relating to the bidens and to
the debunk theory that ukraine, and not russia, interfered in the 2016 election. isn't that correct? >> that's right. >> mr. giuliani told the reporter that his trip was not about official u.s. foreign policy and that the information he sought would be very, very helpful to his client meaning it would be helpful to president trump. is that correct. >> yes, if it's not official foreign policy, it would be held helpful to president trump's personal interests. >> there's no doubt investigations of the bidens and 2016 election meddling were, in fact, not about u.s. policy but about benefiting trump's re-election. correct? >> yes. even the ukrainians realized that. >> on july 25th, president trump placed that fateful phone call to president zelensky and he
asked president zelensky to investigate the bidens. correct? >> yes. >> and on that call, president trump told zelensky, "i will have mr. giuliani to give you a call." correct? >> that's right. >> and on october 2nd and october 3rd, president trump once again made explicit that he and mr. giuliani were intent on making these investigations happen. correct? >> yes. >> and just so you know -- >> and -- >> we've been investigating on a personal basis through rudy and others, lawyers, corruption in the 2016 election. well, i would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. >> mr. goldman, the evidence shows the course of conduct by president trump and his agents, does it not? >> it does, and clearly, it
continued long after our investigation began. >> it shows a common plan, correct? >> that's right, yes. >> it shows a common goal. >> correct. >> and the goal was to get foreign help for the 2020 election, correct? >> that is -- that's what all the witnesses said. >> and, mr. goldman, who was the kingpin of that plan? >> president trump. >> thank you, mr. goldman. ambassador bolton called it a drug deal. as a kingpin, president trump tried to force a foreign government to interfere in the upcoming presidential election. the evidence is undisputed and overwhelming that rudy giuliani acted as part of a conspiracy with president trump to obtain ukrainian help for president trump in the 2020 election. this was not just a hurtful drug deal. this was an attempt to undermine the very fabric of our democracy. the framers feared most how
foreign influence could turn a president into a despot. so they adopted impeachment as a backstop to protect our democracy. the facts, ladies and gentlemen, demand that we use that remedy today, and with that, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. castor, i want to go to the document that started it all, the august 12th whistle-blower complaint. bulletpoint 1 on page 1 of the whistle-blower's complaint, he says this. "over the past four months more than half a dozen u.s. officials have informed me the various facts related to this effort." mr. castor, who are these half a dozen u.s. officials? >> we don't know. >> we don't knowing do we? we had no chance to know for sure who these people were because we never got to talk to the whistle-blower, is that right? >> that's right. >> we needed to talk to the guy who started it all, we needed to talk to him to figure out who these more than half a dozen people were who formed the basis of his kplacomplaint and never .
adam schiff's staff got to. adam schiff knows who he is. tl therefore, we don't know the six original people that formed the basis of this entire thing we've been going through for six months. we did talk to 17 people, right, mr. castor? >> that's right. >> 17 depositions and you were in every single one, lawyer during the work for the republicans in every single one, is that right? >> yes sir. >> one witness they relied on and built their report around. one witness. i read the report. it's obviously one witness. who's that witness, mr. castor? >> ambassador sondland. >> ambassador sondland. i think you said earlier his name was mentioned, i don't f , know, quhwhat did you say? >> more than -- >> their star witness, fir hearing in the intelligence committee, relied on sondland. not the whistle-blower. not the more than half a dozen people who informed the whistle-blower. they relied on ambassador sondland. why did they pick sondland, mr. ambassador? >> the best they got.
>> that's the best they got. the guy who had to file an addone ha doaddone addendum to his testimony. said two weeks ago in the same chair you're sitting in, mr. casto, he said this, "unless president zelensky announces an investigation into burisma and the bidens, there'd be no call with president trump, no assistance security money going to ukraine." mr. castor, was there an announcement by president zelensky about investigating the bidens or burisma? >> no. >> no announcement? >> no. >> did president zelensky get a call from president trump? >> yes. >> did president zelensky get a meeting with president trump? >> yes. >> did president zelensky get the meeting with the united states? >> yes. >> got the call july 25th. they got the meeting on september 25th. is that right? >> yes. >> the guy who sid noaid none ot is going to happen is the guy they built their case around? >> yes. >> is that right? mr. sondland?
>> they built their case around a lot of hearsay, didn't they? the best example of the hearsay, surprisingly enough, is ambassador sondland. it's amazing. built a case around this ambassador and built a case around hearsay and the best example of both is mr. sondland. ambassador sondland because he filed his addendum, his clarification, where he say s this. we read this a couple weeks ago. he says this in bullet point number 2, in his clarification, he says "ambassador taylor recalls that mr. morrison told ambassador taylor that i told mr. morrison that i conveyed this message to mr. yarmak on september 1st, 2019, in connection with vice president pence's meeting in warsaw and meeting with president zelensky." amazing, six people as i said before having four conversations in one sentence. in connection with vice president pence's visit to warsaw and a meeting with president zelensky. that's the clarification. that's their star witness who they built their case around.
so-and-so tells so-and-so what somebody said to someone else and there you have it. that's their case. they forget the four key facts. they forget the fact that we have the call transcript and there was no quid pro quo. they forget the fact that two guys on the call, president trump, president zelensky, said repeat repeatedly there was no pressure, no pushing, they forget the fact that aid was held at the time of the call. most important, they did nothing to get the aid released, no announcement of any type of investigation whatsoever. they forget all that. those key facts. they build their case around the guy who had to clarify his testimony with that amazing sentence. mr. goldman, mr. goldman, the democrats -- did the democrats publish phone records of the president's attorney? >> mr. giuliani, yes. >> did the democrats publish phone records of a member of the press? >> yes, who was also involved in -- >> did the democrats publish phone records of a member of congress? >> yes, who was talking to people -- >> did the democrats -- that member of congress happens to be your boss' political opponent
that those phone records were published of. so the democrats, they run this kind of investigation, ignoring the facts. not letting the whistle-blower come in and, therefore, not heing us know if we talked to more than half a dozen original sources for the whistle-blower's complaint in the first place. the guy who has to file an addendum with that clarification sentence, but one thing they did do, one thing they did do in their report, is they published the phone records of the president's personal lawyer, the phone records of a member of the press and the phone records of the chairman of the intelligence committee's political opponent, representative nunes. that's what these guys did and that's their effort to impeach the president of the united states. 11 months before an election. >> gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. chairman, may i ask unanimous consent -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i'd like to focus on the facts surrounding the president's abuse of power -- >> gentleman -- gentleman --
gentleman will state his unanimous consent request. >> i ask unanimous consent the report by the majority staff of the house committee on the judiciary presidential grounds of presidential impeachment, talks about treason and bribery, be admitted to the record. >> be what? >> be made part of the record. >> majority report, without objection. >> thanks. >> thank you. getting back to the facts surrounding the president's abuse of power using the white house meeting as leverage for helping his political campaign, mr. goldman, president trump offered ukrainian president zelensky a meeting in the white house, but first, he wanted investigations into the bidens and a conspiracy theory about meddling in the 2016 election. you testified that the committees found evidence that president trump worked to exchange official actions for personal benefit and i want to talk about that. on may 23rd, 2019, a delegation of officials returned from zelensky's inauguration and briefed the president. in that briefing, president trump directed government
officials to work with his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani. isn't that correct? >> yes. >> and trump's handpicked ukraine operator, gordon sondland, testified that they faced a choice, either work with giuliani or abandon the goal of a white house meeting. what choice did they make, mr. goldman? >> they decided to work with mr. giuliani. >> right. and six days later on may 29th, president trump sent the new ukrainian president a letter that said america stood with ukraine and invited president zelensky to visit the white house. isn't that correct? >> yes, that was the second time that he invited him to the white house. >> so at this point the ukrainian president expected that meeting. >> correct. >> but then they learn that they got to do something more for the president. sondland testified that there was a prerequisite of investigations. isn't that right? >> yes. >> and nsc staffer lieutenant colonel vindman testified that sondland told the ukrainians in
a july 10th meeting that the investigation of the bidens was a deliverable, necessary, to get that meeting, isn't that right? >> yes. if i could take a second to correct what mr. castor said about that meeting, there really is no inconsistent statements about whether or not ambassador sondland raised the issue of investigations in connection to the white house. even ambassador volker in his public testimony was forced to admit he did hear that and said it was inappropriate. inappropriate have some and, in fact, on july 9 19th sondland told president zelensky directly that president trump wanted to hear a commitment to the investigations on the july 25th call, correct? >> that's right. >> that same day, sondland updated senior multiple trump administration officials that zelensky was, quote, prepared to receive potus's call and would offer assurances about the investigations, isn't that right? >> yes. >> and on that same day, state department official volker had breakfast with rudy giuliani and
he reported to sondland by text message. most important is for zelensky to say he will help investigation, right? >> yes. and address any specific personnel issues. >> right. and later that day, after giuliani spoke with yermak, evidence suggests that giuliani gave a green light to that july 25th call. then on the morning of the call, volker texted zelensky aide yermak and that text to his aide said, and i quote, heard from white house, assuming president "z" convinces trump he will investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down a visit, a date for visit to washington. and the transcript released by president trump shows trump requested investigating and zelensky agrees, isn't that correct? >> yes. and that text message was actually a direction, a message relayed from president trump himself. >> and then after the july 25th call, members of the administration continued to follow-up with the ukrainian
counterparts to prepare for the announcement of investigations. they contacted sondland noting that potus really wants the deliverable. now it's just one of many messages during a flurry of follow-up activity, there were meetings and calls and texts on july 26th and july 27th and august 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, august tenth, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, mr. goldman on august 16th, seven toonth, and august nine teeth, isn't that correct? >> yes, including to secretary pompeo as well. >> these are government officials who work for us. instead, they were working hard to help the president advance his personal political interests, isn't that what you found, mr. goldman? >> that's right. >> this isn't a close call. we had a ukrainian president at war with russia desperate for a white house meeting. the president promised a white house meeting. but then he blocked the oval
office. he blocked it and said i need a favor. not a favor to help america, a favor to help me get re-elected. our framers feared one day we would face a moment like this. they gave us an impeachment -- they gave us impeachment as i safety valve not to punish the president, but to defend our elections and our constitution and that's what we must do. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. buck. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cass cast irrelevanor, i wa direction your attention to page 3. president trump states i would like you do us a favor, though, because our country been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. i would like you to find bought happened with this whole swaution with ukraine. i would like to have the attorney general call you and
your people and i would like you to get to the bottom of it. the majority report on page 13 says, the u.s. intelligence community had unanimously determined that russia, not ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election to help the candidacy of president trump. mr. castor, there appears to be a conflict there. president trump is asking the ukraine to investigate something the majority has decided that it's an illegitimate request because there was no interference in an election by the ukraine. is that how you read this? >> yes. >> and the press release from the majority on their report says, as part of this scheme, president trump acting in his official capacity and using his position of public trust personally and directly requested that the president of ukraine that the government of ukraine publicly announce investigations into subsection two a baseless theory promoted by russia alleging that ukraine,
rather than russia, interfered in the 2016 u.s. election. is that true? >> yes. >> and, mr. castor, i want to ask you something. have you seen this article from "politico" dated january 11th, 2017? >> yes, i have. >> and the title of that article is ukrainian efforts to the saba tajh trump backfire. is that correct? >> yes. >> i want to read you the second paragraph. ukrainian government officials tried to help hillary clinton and undermine trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. they also disseminated documents impla indicating top trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter only to back away after the election. and they helped clinton's allies research damaging information on trump and his advisers. a "politico" investigation found. isn't it true that president trump had a legitimate reason to request help from the ukraine about the 2016 election? and i'm not suggesting for a
minute that russia didn't interfere, of course they interfered. but the ukraine officials tried to influence the election? >> yes. >> let's move on to ambassador sondland. i only have ten fingers and ten toes so i can't count above 20, mr. castor. but do you know how many times ambassador sondland said that he did not know, did not recall, had no recollection, had limited memory or failed to remember something in his october 17th testimony? you know how many times? 325. does that surprise you? 325. >> big number. >> and then files a clarifying statement and he clarifies a few things, i guess. but did you have any -- do you have any contact with ambassador sondland between the time of his deposition and the time of his clarifying statement? >> no. >> did the majority. >> i have no idea. >> you have no idea. so they may have had influence
on his testimony? >> i -- >> and that would be evidence of bias, that would be evidence of credibility, that would be evidence that we should take into account before. but we'll never know, will we? because the majority counsel has a right to assert a privilege, as to information that's relevant to this committee's decision. the majority counsel has a right to assert a privilege in any communications he has with the chairman adam schiff, doesn't he? >> yeah. >> as does minority counsel. that's a privilege that we reserved near congress, isn't it. >> yeah. >> and the same thing is true of foya, the freedom of information act does not apply to memos that majority counsel writes, isn't that true? >> correct. >> so we've -- we've demanded of that the executive branch, but we have allowed ourselves not to be part of foia, correct? >> correct. >> okay. so the majority has a privilege. the president also has a privilege, it's called executive
privilege. he can meet with the secretary of state and that's a privileged conversation. he can meet with the secretary of defense, that's a plachblingd conversation. he can meet with the secretary of energy, that's a privileged conversation. now, when the majority has subpoenaed those witnesses and the president has refused to produce those witnessors relevant documents or what they consider relevant documents, they are charging him with an article of impeachment for obstruction. in fact, their report says president obstructed the impeachment inquiry by instructing witnesses to ignore subpoenas. why? >> gentleman's time has expired. ms. bass. >> mr. goldman, i want to pick up on the president using the powers of his office. in this case at a meeting at the white house to pressure a foreign country to investigate his political rival. now that you've had time to step back from the investigation, is there any doubt that the president did, in fact, use a white house visit to pressure president zelensky to announce investigations of his political rival to benefit his re-election
campaign? >> i will answer that question in a minute, but i would like just to comment to mr. buck that the majority staff and no one had any contact with ambassador sondland after his deposition. but the answer to your question is, yes, ms. bass. >> my colleague, mr. deutsche, mostly focused on the period prior to the july 25th call. i'd like to focus on the period after. following the call, did president zelensky come to the white house for a meeting? >> no, he's never come to the white house. and several witnesses, multiple witnesses said that there's a huge distinction between a white house meeting and a meeting on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly where they did meet on september 25th. >> so has a white house meeting been scheduled? >> no. >> so did the president and his associates essentially continue to withhold the white house meeting and, if so, why did they do that? >> well, the evidence found that the white house meeting was conditioned on the announcement of these investigations.
and so once in mid-august when the ukrainians, mr. yermak and president zelensky, decided that they were not going to issue that statement that rudy giuliani wanted to include burisma and the 2016 elections, there was no white house meeting. it soon became clear to them that the security assistance was also at risk and that took on a renewed importance for them. >> well, following the 25th call, the july 25th call, ambassador sondland and volker worked closely with mr. giuliani and the ukrainians to help draft a statement that the president could make, president zelensky, wasn't that right? >> yes. and the report state that they worked closely and then there were also phone calls with the white house around the same time that they were working closely. >> do you know what that statement was supposed to say, according to mr. giuliani and the u.s. officials? >> well, the key difference is that it had to include that ukraine would do the
investigations of burisma, which equaled the biden investigation and the 2016 ukraine interference. >> but was there a concern about doing the investigations or what? were they just supposed to make a statement about it, what? >> ambassador and is leerily testifi sondland clearly evidence that all he heard them say was they only needed the public announcement of the investigations. >> so did the committee find without that public statement that there would be no white house meeting? >> yes. >> so i was struck by how clear the evidence seems dob to be ons point and i'd like to play another example. >> was there a quid pro quo? >> as i testified previously, with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. everyone was in the loop. >> mr. goldman, did the investigative committees find
that mr. giuliani played a role on the white house visit being conditioned on investigations. >> it showed that he not only played a role, but he was the president's agent. he was acting on behalf of the president, expressing the president's wishes, desires and -- >> so what -- what evidence did the committee find that corroborated the quote, everyone was in the loop? >> well, ambassador sondland produced for his public testimony, i think it's very important in light of the testimony from mr. castor a minute ago with mr. buck as to how many times that mr. sondland did not remember in his deposition. we agree, it was egregious. but the advantage of doing closed depositions is that mr. sondland could not match up his testimony. so as other witnesses came in, then he realized that he had to actually admit to more and more stuff. so did he admit to -- to an email that included pompeo,
mulvaney -- >> dwient to make a point before my time goes out. we have to think about what's going on today. president zelensky is meeting with putin today. and because of president trump's actions, zelensky is in a weakened position to negotiate with the leader of the nation that invaded his country. if our military assistance had been provided as congress ordered it and the white house meeting, president zelensky would be meeting with putin from a position of strength. if you want the support -- what is we are to realize is that the message that sends to our allies and to our standing in the world, if you want the support of the united states, be prepared to help with president trump's re-election. president trump's abuse of power has injured our nation. >> thank the chairman. the 299-page democratic majority report mentions the intelligence community inspector general michael atkinson on pages 26, 33, 138, 140, and 143. mr. goldman, you were present
for the october 4, 2019, transcribed interview of the inspector general michael atkinson, correct? >> yes. >> on pages 53 to 73 of that transcribed interview, the inspector general's testimony confirms the following: that the whistle-blower made statements to the inspector general under penalty of perjury that were not true and correct. that the whistle-blower first made statements in writing under penalty of perjury that were not true and correct. the whistle-blower then made statements under penalty of perjury that were not true and correct in his or her verbal responses to the inspector general's investigative team. because of the whistle-blower's statements in writing and verbally to the inspector general that were neither true, correct, or accurate, pages 53 to 73 of that sworn testimony reveal that the inspector general was not able to answer any questions, none, from me about the whistle-blower's contact or communication with
chairman schiff's staff of which mr. goldman is a member. mr. castor, do you remember anywhere in this 299-page report that makes reference to the fact that when the whistle-blower started this inquiry, he or she did so by making statements under penalty of perjury that were neither true or correct in writing and then did so again verbally? >> i don't remember that. >> after the inspector general testified on october 4th and after media reports revealed that the whistle-blower and chairman schiff did not disclose their prior contacts or communications with one another, the whistle-blower contacted the inspector general to explain why he or she made statements under penalty of perjury in writing and verbally that were not true, correct, and accurate. mr. castor, is that communication from the whistle-blower -- from the whistle-blower to the inspector general to explain prior inconsistent statements reflected anywhere in the
299-page report? >> no. >> on october 2nd, chairman schiff's spokesman patrick bowlland acknowledge back uply that the outlines of the whistle-blower's accusations against the president had been disclosed to the house intelligence staff and shared with chairman schiff. mr. castor, is that disclosure and mr. bollen's admission anywhere in this report? >> i don't remember seeing it. >> it's not. i think all members of congress should be held accountable in this impeachment process. so that end if i have made any false statements to the whistle-blower or the inspector general, thin should be held accountable. the way to do that would be to release the inspector general's testimony or even just pages 53 to 73. i would add that there's nothing in those pages that would in any way identify or place at risk the whistle-blower's identity,
nor would it reveal any information that in any way relates to, much less jeopardizes national security. look, maybe there's a believable explanation for why the whistle-blower made statements that weren't true or accurate about his contact or her contact with chairman schiff in writing and then again verbally. maybe there's a good explanation for why the words congress or congressional committee was confuse organize not cle confusing or not clear to the whistle-blower. maybe there's a good explanation for why he misled the inspector general in writing on august 12th by stating i reserve the option to exercise my legal right to contact the committees directly when the whistle-blower had, in fact, already contacted chairman schiff's committee two weeks before he or she wrote that. maybe there's a believable reason why chairman schiff was not initially truthful about his staff's communications with the whistle-blower. maybe there's a good reason that explains all of these statements in writing and verbally that just weren't true and correct.
maybe there is. but there is no good reason for voting to impeach and remove from office an american president without allowing a single question to be asked of a single witness to get an explanation for why the inspector general was not told the truth about contacts between the whistle-blower and chairman schiff. the bottom line is, we should all be held accountable and next november every member of the house will be asked this question. did you vote to impeach the president without allowing any investigation into why the whistle-blower that started it all did so by making statements in writing and verbally under penalty of perjury that were not true? democrats may not care if that question ever gets answered, but the voters will. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. richmond. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. goldman, i want to start off with facts and that you all uncovered through the course of
your investigation. and i want to pick up where my colleagues mr. deutsche and ms. bass left off. they walked us through how the president used the white house visit to apply pressure on ukraine to do his personal bidding. i want to talk about how the president did the same thing with almost 400 million taxpayer dollars to pressure ukraine do his personal bidding. so i'd like to start with turning back to the july 25th call. it's a fact that in the president's own words and the transcript submitted by him reveals that after you crane asked for military aid, trump says, i would like you to do us a favor, though. >> after president zelensky thanks president trump for the military sentence, then president trump asks for a favor. and of course by this point president trump had already placed the hold on the security assistance. >> now, my republican colleagues have suggested that the ukrainians did not even know
about the military aid being withheld. is that true? >> no. there was significant evidence that even as early as july 25th at the time of this call that ukrainian officials had suspected that the aid was being withheld and there was a "new york times" article last week that wasn't included in our report, but from the former foreign -- deputy foreign minister who said that they -- that ukraine -- the president zelensky's office received a diplomatic cable from the embassy here the week of july 25th saying that the aid had been held. >> correct. and what i also show you on the screen is that it was on july 25th also, the same day of the call, that the state department emailed the department of defense noting that the ukrainian embassy was asking about the withheld military aid. >> yes, that's what i was referring to. >> i'd like, then, to -- let's go back. there was also discussion
earlier during the minority questioning that mr. sandy from omb said that the reason for the security assistance hold was related to the president's concerns about burden sharing with europe. is that consistent with the evidence that you all uncovered? >> so it's a good question because mr. sandy did say that. but notably, mr. sandy said that he only heard that in early september. that that reason was never provided to him or anybody else before early september for the first two months of the hold. and, of course, it was given at that point as this -- the gig was up, so to speak. >> so that was after everything came out to light? >> it was -- he wasn't sure of the timing, but he was ultimately told that the reason for the hold after of it was lifted was for that reason. but that's, you know, i think an after the fact excuse based on our evidence. because no other witnesses were ever told of that reason during the entire time that it was
held. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to enter into the record evidence uncovered by the committee from the house budget and appropriations committees that documents omb placing a hold on the ukrainian security assistance on july 25th. >> without objection. >> so let's review. on july 18th, omb announced to all relevant agencies that the military aid would be withheld from ukraine. on a call with ukraine on july 25th, president trump says, do us a favor, though, and asked you ukraine to investigate his political rival. also on july 25th, in the hours following that call both the ukrainians and the americans took actions specifically related to that military aid. the ukrainians began asking about the status of their military aid. and omb took its first official action to withhold that aid. mr. goldman, i'm placing on the screen in front of you an email
from ambassador sondland to members of the white house administration in which ambassador sondland says, i would ask zelensky to look him in the eye and tell him that once ukraine's new justice folks are in place, zelensky should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to the president and the united states hopefully that will break the logjam. did the investigative committees uncovered any evidence on what ambassador sondland meant when he suggested that president zelensky would have to move forward publicly on, quote, issues of importance to the president to receive military aid? >> ambassador sondland said those were the two investigations that president trump mentioned on the july 25th call which secretary pompeo who received that email listened in to. >> so the president was concerned about the two investigations. and that was the predicate for releasing military aid to our ally? >> at the time of that email, yes. >> thank you, and i yield back.
>> gentleman yields back. >> little earlier, mr. armstrong had asked unanimous consent request to assert into the record the ig report released today about fisa. and i had said we would take it under advisement. we have reviewed it and without objection it will be entered into the record. ms. roby. >> i'm actually stunned by the process or lack thereof that is take place in this institution. i have many democratic friends that i know to be thoughtful, deliberative members of congress. even though we may disagree vehemently on policy. but these proceedings being led by the majority, like i said, it's stunning. i cannot for the life of me figure out why the majority would approach this in such a way that will forever cast doubt on why and how they chose to effect history with the impeachment of a president of the united states.
and now, to what has taken place here today, this is just bizarre as a member of congress serving on the house judiciary committee, i'm asking questions to staff as witnesses before us in an impeachment evidentiary hearing? i mean, no disrespect to staff, we have the most dedicated, hardworking staff and without these individuals we most certainly couldn't do our jobs effectively. but we have not and we will not hear from any fact witnesses. whether you identify as a republican, a democrat, or an independent, would you agree or disagree with the president, whether you like or dislike a president, the american people should be cheated -- should feel cheated by the way this is all taking place. this process is more than incomplete, and the american people deserve better. today, history is being made and i, too, believe it is a dangerous precedent for the
future of our republic. it is worth a deeper explanation of the issue of a minority hearing. the minority members of this committee have frequently asked the chairman for a minority-day hearing and all members on this side have signed on to a letter to the chairman asking for a minority-day hearing. i'd like to quote house rule 11 clause 2. whenever a hearing is condoungtd a measure or a matter, the minority members of the committee shall be entitled upon the request to the chair by a majority of them before the completion of the hearing to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify with respect to that measure or matter during at least one day of hearing thereon. the wording here is that the minority shall be entitled, not if the chairman deems the minority worthy. but shall be entitled. mr. castor, with all of your
experience in investigations here in the congress, is it your belief based on that experience that ignoring the minority's stated rights for a hearing under the rules of the house severely undermines the future of this institution? >> yes. >> i'd like to quote what we heard from the democratic staff, mr. burke in his opening comments if the is the hope that in these discussions we can put aside political rank or disagreements and have a fair discussion. that is far from what has happened here today or the days leading up to this. the american people deserve better than this. and i yield the remainder of my time to mr. collins. >> thank you. mr. castor, we've heard a lot, it's always a good time i think to go back and remind people that there are four things that really haven't changed would the
you like tory mind remind us o everything that's been discussed. >> there's four things that will never change. stript complete and accurate, it shows no quid pro quo, no conditionality, that's number one. number two, there was no pressure. zelensky and trump have said that repeat plitd president zelensky said that at united nations at september 25th. he said it in subsequent news article on october 6th, october 10th, and december 1st. number 3, the ukrainians and zplens did not know about the pause in aid, at the very least at the time of the call. and number four, no investigations were announced, the aid was released, and the white house, you know, afforded a meeting and president trump met with zelensky in new york. >> do you find it amazing that the majority is one of their key prongs of this whole thing is that they're making the elected leader of the ukraine out to be a liar? >> um. >> because if he says there's no pressure, he's done it on many, many occasions since then, then
undoug dou undoubtedly they believe him not to be truthful, don't you find that striking? >> it's unfortunate. >> it's sad we're calling an elected leader who is working on corruption and other things like that, we're calling him a liar simply because they don't agree with the democrats theory of a partisan impeachment. with that, i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. mr. jeffries. >> let's focus on the aid to ukraine. mr. goldman, congress allocated on the bipartisan basis $391 million in tide ukraine, correct? >> yes, it and it was signed by president trump into law. >> does the record establish that the military aid to ukraine is in the national security interests of the united states? >> absolutely. >> the investigation concluded that president trump compromised u.s. national security by withholding vital military assistance and diplomatic support, is that true? >> yes. >> president trump and his defenders claim that he withheld military aid out of alleged
concern with corruption in ukraine. let's explore this phony justification. donald trump first spoke to the president of ukraine on an april 21st call, correct? >> that's right. >> president trump never use. the word corruption on that april 21st call, true? >> that is troupe. and the readout from the white house after the call did say that president trump talked about corruption. >> that readout was inaccurate. in a may 23rd letter, trump's department of defense concluded that ukraine met the anticorruption benchmarks required to receive military aid from the united states, true? >> yes. if i could take a second to talk about that because it's important and it goes back to what mr. collins was talking about with vice president biden. there's absolutely conditionality on aid routinely but it's done through official policy. and these anticorruption benchmarks that you're
referencing here was a condition of ukraine getting the aid. but in may, the department of defense in conjunction with the other interagencies certified that ukraine was making the necessary progress on anticorruption efforts to merit the aid. >> and yet the aid was not released, correct? >> the aid was subsequently held. it was supposed to be released, dod announced the release, and then president trump held the aid without explanation. >> mr. goldman, based on the evidence and testimony that you have reviewed, is there any reason to believe that the president cared about corruption in ukraine? >> no. the evidence really supports the fact that president trump views corruption in ukraine to be synonymous with the two investigations that he wants. >> what the president did care about was a political favor from the ukrainian government, and that is why he withheld the military aid, true?
>> he told ambassador sondland himself that that is the only thing that he cares about. >> now, several witnesses testified as to the real motivation connected to the withheld military aid, including ambassador bill taylor. here is what he said in his testimony. >> to withhold that assistance for no good reason other than help with a political campaign made no sense if the was -- it was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. it was illogical, it could not be explained, it was crazy. >> illogical, unexplainable, crazy. mr. goldman, according to the testimony from ambassador taylor are the only explanation for the withheld aid that made sense is that the president was seeking help with the political campaign, correct? >> that is the only logical explanation as multiple wi
witnesses said. >> and ambassador sondland who gave a million dollars to the president's inauguration, he testified that he came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from ukraine committing to the investigations, correct? >> yes. and that was subsequently confirmed in a conversation with president trump himself. >> lieutenant colonel vindman is a decorated iraq war veteran, purple heart recipient, and member of the white house national security council. and he testified that it is improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and a political opponent, correct? >> yeah, that was pretty much unanimous view of all 17 witnesses that came in to testify before the intelligence committee. >> the evidence shows that president trump withheld military aid from ukraine as part of a scheme to extract a political favor and solicit
foreign interference in the 2020 election, true? >> yes. and that -- the scheme part is very important because the minority wants to focus on these four very narrow facts that ignore the vast majority of the evidence. and so the fact that you use scheme is critical to the whole -- the whole case here. >> the president abused his power, the president must be held accountable, no one is above the law. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. gaetz. >> the last public opinion poll i saw showed congress had an approval rating of 9%. by contrast, ka doff if i had an approval rating of 13% and his own people dragged him into the zreets and killed him. this impeachment process dem month stratss the worst in us and it is depriving us the opportunity to raise our gaze and meet the needs of the american people. unless you have bipartisan consensus, impeachment is a divisive issue in the country many people would think it's being done for political
reasons. nancy pelosi, may 2018. and here we are, in the most partisan presidential impeachment in american history. matter of fact, when we opened the inquiry, no republicans vote with the democrats, and you had democrats voting with us in the only bipartisan vote to shut down this impeachment. that brings to us your role, mr. goldman. are you here as a partisan advocate for the democrat position or are you here as a nonpartisan investigator of the facts? >> i'm here to present the report that we did on our investigation which was totally and completely reliant on the actual evidence that we uncovered, the witness testimony, and the documents. >> are you a partisan? >> i'm not a partisan. >> mr. castor, how long have you worked for the house? >> since 2005. >> and same question, mr. goldman. >> for the house? since earlier this year. >> mr. castor, do you make political donations? >> i don't remember any. >> mr. goldman, same question, do you make political donations.
>> i do, sir. i think it's very important -- >> matter of fact, you've given ten of thousands of dollars to democrats, right? >> think it's important to support office -- >> i just want know the number. >> you don't care about it. >> the basis, i just want the number. it's tens -- >> i don't know how much money. >> do you know how much money mr. burke has given democrats? >> i don't know. >> would it surprise you if it's more than a hundred thousand? >> i'm here to buck this report. i'm happy to talk to you about this report. >> you gave tens of thousands, mr. burke gave more than a hundred thousand. do you think if you gave more money you'd be able to answer questions like mr. burke did? i guess it's something you're still pondering. mr. castor, have you ever tweeted anything at the president? >> no. >> mr. goldman, same question. >> i have made a number of tweets in my private capacity before i came to this job when i was working in the media, yes. >> matter of fact, this is one of those tweets, right?
and you said, nothing in the dossier is proven false, but the dossier said there was a russian consulate in miami, when there isn't. the dossier said that michael cohen had a meeting in prague when he didn't. the dassier said that michael cohen's wife was russian, she's, in fact, ukrainian. and so, as we sit here today, where you i guess got a tweet mentioning a p tape presenting yourself not as a partisan, hired by the democrats to pursuit president, do you regret this tweet? >> sir, i would be happy to put my -- this investigation up with any of the nonpartisan investigations -- >> i just want to know if you regret the tweet. >> during my ten years as a prosecutor. >> do you regret it? >> i hope you read the evidence and judge for your self whether it's partisan or not. >> i guess you don't want to answer the question. mr. chairman, earlier in this hearing you said in your opening statement that there is nothing more urgent than impeachment right now. this is the most urgent thing we could possibly do.
you know what? if you're a senior right now and you can't afford your prescription drugs, that's more urgent than this. if you're a manufacturer wanting to dominate the western hemisphere with the passage of the usmca, that is more urgent. if you're a farmer who wants to open markets so that your family can survive and thrive, that's a lot more urgent than this partisan process. if you're a desperate family member watching someone succumb to addiction, solving the opioid problem, probably more urgent than this partisan impeachment. if you're a member of the next generation, dealing with the challenges of extinction and climate change, a budget that's out of control, driving up the credit card of young people in this country and what they'll have to pay back as a consequence of our poor decisions, likely more urgent. but house democrats have failed at all of these things. matter of fact, i'd say the only thing under the cras christmas tree for most americans would be a lump of coal, but think they're against coal too. only thing under the christmas
tree for americans would be impeachment. and investigations. i've heard over and over democrats say that this is all about the president's personal interest and that he abandoned the national interest. and it begs an analysis of how the naition is doing. in november, 266,000 jobs created. 80,000 over the average. half a million more manufacturing jobs in the trump presidency. 700,000 construction jobs. we are doing better than ever before. the american people are thriving. why won't you help us move along the critical issues that are far more important than your partisan impeachment? >> gentleman's time has expired. >> let me bebegin by dispelling the claim ma mr. gaetz just made in the has been one of the most pro dukttive congress's in history. we've passed 400 pieces of legislation that respond to the urgent priorities of the american people, driving down health care costs, raising wage sports american wokker are responding to gun violence, providing equal pay for equal work, respond together climate crisis, 275 of those bills are
fully bipartisan. and 80% of those bills are sitting on the senate majority leader's desk awaiting action. so we will continue to deliver on the important priorities of the american people. but we are also elected to hold this president accountable. and we took an oath of office that said to protect and defend the constitution. and that's what we're engaged in today. and so i want to return, mr. goldman, to the military aid. did the investigating committees receive evidence about why the united states military aid to ukraine was necessary? what was it advance something there's a lot of americans who are watching don't know a lot about ukraine, don't know about the geopolitical significance. why does it matter? >> the witnesses were quite clear about this and they say it mattered for multiple reasons. the first is, that russia invaded ukraine to take over part of their -- of their country and that this was the first military incursion in europe since world war ii. and this is russia who's an adversary actually trying to encroach on another democracy.
so just from a broad democratic viewpoint, it was essential not only to ukraine's national security, but to america's national security to make sure that democracy remains worldwide. >> and when that part of the call on july between the 5th congress had approved the aid, correct? >> congress had approved the aid and then the president held the aid. >> and the defense pent e departme department aannounced the support of the aid. >> that's right. >> and they had taken substantial steps to combat corruption, correct? >> correct. >> and that normally leads to the release of the aid. >> announce the release of aid, yes. >> and the committee questioned witnesses from the defense department, state department, omb, white house and national security council about the president's decision to withhold aid, correct? >> correct. >> and i'd like to play a clip of some of that evidence. >> from what you witnesses, did anybody in the national security community support withholding the assistance?
>> no. >> i never heard anyone advocate for holding the aid. >> and the entire interagency supported the continuation of this security assistance, isn't that right? >> that is correct. >> i and others sat in astonishment. ukrainians were fighting russians and counted on not only the training and weapons, but also the assurance of u.s. support. >> am i correct that the witnesses that appeared before your committee confirmed that there was no credible explanation for withholding the military aid and that it was, in fact, against our national security interests do so? >> everyone agreed it was against our national security interests to do so. the only explanation that any witness provided was mr. sandy who said he had heard from rob blair, i believe, the assistant to mick mulvaney that the reason was because of other country's donations or contributions to ukraine. but that was only in september and, of course, there were no further commit flents any other
country. >> and as we heard from bill taylor who say graduate of west point and decorated combat veteran who served in vietnam, ukraine then and now is in an active war with the russians. russia stole part of their country in crimea and has killed more than 10,000 ukrainians and weakening ukraine would only benefit russia. here's what ambassador taylor said. >> after our meeting with president zelensky, ambassador volker and i traveled to the frontline in northern dom bass to receive a briefing from the forces on line of contact. arriving for the briefing in the military headquarters the commander thanked us for the security assistance. but i was aware that this assistance was on hold. which made me uncomfortable. ambassador volker and i could see the armed and hostile russian-led forces on the other side of the damaged bridge across the line of contact. russian-led forces continue to kill ukrainians in the war one or two a week. more ukrainians would undoubtedly die without the u.s.
assistance. >> against the consensus of his own agencies and national security experts, the president used congressionally appropriated funds to advance his own political interests at the expense of our national security. this action is a threat to the integrity of our elections and the sanctity of our democracy. president trump must not get away with this. no one in this country, no one, including the president of the united states, is above the law. and with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this has been a truly extraordinary and historically unprecedented hearing. it has, frankly, been an outrageous violation of due process. a series of violations of due process, in fact. let me review the past 71/2 hours. i asked the chairman if mr. burke was appearing as a staff member or as a witness. but the chairman gave strangely conflicting answers to that important question. when i objected under house rule 17 that mr. burke was repeatedly and brazenly steam rolling over
houseday core rum rules and using language that impund the moat tifds of the president of the united states and suggested he is disloyal to his country, chairman nadler insisted those words could not be taken down as stricken from the record saying, quote, the rules don't apply herehere because mr. burke is merely appearing as a staffer. but later, chairman nadler stated the opposite and declared ma mr. burke was appearing to present the democratic members report as their representative which would mean that the member rules should apply. then mr. burke was allowed to switch places and turn from witness to questioner. that's extraordinarily bizarre ever, of course, but it's entirely kiptd been this impeachment circus. as everybody knows, intel chairman adam schiff was allowed in the opening act of this circus to serve as the judge, jury, prosecutor, witness coach and case strategy chief all in one. so much for due process. under the democrats haphazardly drawn special parameters for these special hearings, house resolution 660, mr. burke was
allowed to join the members of congress on this dais and ask 45 minutes of his questions of mr. castor. when he was argumentative, assumed critical facts not in evidence, engage in speculation and committed countless other violations of regular house rules and the federal rules of civil procedure, i objected. was then ruled out of order by chairman nadler who informed all of us that while house resolution 660 specifically provides for objections, it lists none of them and the democrats have ignored every request of ours to obtain a list of what rules and objections would be enforced and applicable today. again, so much for due process and fairness. a month ago, listen, a month ago the republican members of this committee formally requested all documents related to the impeachment investigation, but chairman nadler and schiff withheld everything until you know when? saturday afternoon. that's right. less than 48 hours before this hearing they dumped approximately 8,000 pages of documentation ounce while we were back home in our directs. they districts. they made it impossible for us
to review all material in any meaningful way. what's worse is the documents they decided to dump on us are not all of the underlying records we need to review but a partial, redacted and biased subset of information that they think will advance their false narrative and as has been mentioned here, we're being allowed no minority day hearing had which is required by regular house rules. i'd love to cross-examine mr. burke him sex, but chairman nadler special and still mysterious rules for this hearing won't allow it. i notice he's disappeared from the hearing room. i would love to ask him under oath about his own biases. because you know he hammered here over and over today the importance of fairness and objectivity and accuracy and he insisted that everything here has to be unbiased. but if he was under oath here, he would be forced to admit that fec records show that he has personally donated approximately $99,000 to the democratic candidates over years including sizeable donations for hillary clinton for president and also donated to past trump opponents including elizabeth warren, cory
booker, and kirsten gillibrand. mr. burke appeared here as a fact witness and finder of fact, but in our system a finder of fact is supposed to be fair and impartial. he's supposed to be an umpire. the problem wall of this and the problem that everybody at home can see with their own eyes is that the umpires in this high-stakes game are parading around the field in the majority teams jerseys. the report of evidence released by republican committee staff on december 2nd carefully documents that in the hearings that led touss this point today chairman schiff directed witnesses called by the democrats not to answer republican questions. he rejected witnesses identified raps who have about have injected some semblance of fairness and objectivity and denied republican subpoenas for testimony and documents violating the democrats' own rules to vote down those subpoenas with no notice to republicans. chairman schiff also publicly fabricated evidence about president trump's july 25th phone call and he misled the american public about his interactions with the anonymous bh whistle-blower to select information to paint misleading narratives. the whistle-blower reportedly
acknowledged having a personal relationship with vice president biden and his motives, biases and credibility are essential to this case but we can't question it. this is not due process there is not the rule of law and this is not how to impeach an american president and this is not how we're supposed to run a country. it can't be. 17 out of 24 of our colleagues over there already voted to proceed with impeachments before we started all this. they've already made up their minds. they were -- they were prejudiced before we walked in. but the american people are not. fairness still matters, truth matters, and the people can see clearly that this is a sham. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. swalwell. >> mr. goldman, would you welcome the problem of having 8,000 documents given to you from the white house? >> it would be a wonderful problem to have. >> how many have they given you? >> zero. >> mr. castor, you said earlier that they got the aid, they got the aid, no harm, no foul, they got the aid. but you would agree that although mr. sandy said that the presidential concern was european contributions, nothing changed from when that concern
was expressed to when they actually got the aid, right? you agree on that? europe didn't kick in a bunch of new money? >> no, but they did a study. >> oh, a study. but they didn't kick in new money, you agree on that. >> ambassador taylor discussed that they -- >> okay. >> researched. >> you talked about the anticorruption president that we have in donald trump, the person who had a fraud settlement relating to trump university, the person who just recently with his own charity had a settlement related to fraud. let's talk about that anticorruption president of ours. take a wild guess, mr. castor, how many times has president trump met with vladimir putin or talked to him? >> i don't know the number. it's -- >> it's 16. >> okay. how many times has president trump met at the white house with president zelensky? >> um. >> it's zero. and who is president trump meeting with at the white house tomorrow? do you know? >> i'm not -- i'm not -- >> it's russian foreign minister lavrov. >> okay. >> now, mr. goldman, withholding aid from ukraine, obviously,
hurts ukraine. it hurts the united states. does it help any country? >> the witnesses said that that would help russia. >> did you also hear testimony that these acts by the president, while being wrong and an abuse of power, also harmed u.s. national security? >> yes. >> did youna hear anything abou how it would harm our credibility, i would turn you to a conversation volker had on september 14th of this year where ambassador volker semipressing upon that official that president zelensky should not investigate his own political opponents? what was thrown back in the face of ambassador volker? >> after video volker suggested to mr. yermak again who's here, that they should not investigate the prior president of ukraine, mr. yermak said back to him, oh, like we -- you're encouraging us to investigate the bidens and clintons? >> during watergate, the famous
phrase from senator howard baker was asked, what did the president know and when did he know it? there's a reason that no one here has repeated those questions during these hearings. we know what the president did. and we know when he knew it. mr. goldman, who sent rudy giuliani to ukraine to smear joe biden? >> president trump. >> who fired the anticorruption ambassador in ukraine, marie yovanovitch? >> president trump. >> who told ambassador sondland and ambassador volker to work with rudy giuliani on ukraine? >> president trump. >> who told vice president pence to not go to zelensky's inauguration? >> president trump. >> who ordered his own chief of staff, mick mulvaney, to withhold critical military assistance for ukraine? >> president trump. >> who refused to meet with president zelensky in the oval office? >> president trump. >> who ignored on july 25 his
own national security council's anticorruption talking points? >> president trump. >> who asked president zelensky for a favor? >> president trump. >> who personally asked president zelensky to investigate his political rival joe biden? >> president trump. >> who stood on the white house lawn and confirmed that he wanted ukraine to investigate vice president biden? >> president trump. >> who stood on that same lawn and said that china should also investigate vice president biden? >> president trump. >> as to anything that we do not know in this investigation, who has blocked us from knowing it? >> president trump and the white house. >> so as it relates to president trump, is he an incidental player or a central player in this scheme? >> president trump is the central player in this scheme. >> there's a reason that no one has said what did the president know and when did he know it. from the evidence that you have presented, mr. goldman, and the
intelligence committee's findings, we know one thing and one thing is clear, as it related to this scheme, the president of the united states, donald j. trump, knew everything. and i yield back. >>. >> reporter: yields back. mr. biggs. >> mr. castor, what's direct evidence? >> when a witness personally on serves a fact and testifies to it. >> and what's hearsay evidence? >> well, out of court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted is something that you learn in law school. >> and the federal rules of evidence adopt building most states, hearsay is inadmissible unless it falls under defined exceptions, is that right. >> that's right. there's about 23. >> and i believe your present when everyone testified including mr. sond sondland, right? >> yes. >> and that's a yes? >> yes. >> much of them report the impeachment is based on a -- is that a fair characterization? >> a lot of it is, yes. >> how many times did mr. sondland omission in the intel
community report? >> i did a report and the name sondland shows up 611 times. >> just to refresh your mind. sondland himself told the world that basically nobody else on the planet told him that donald trump was trying to tie aid to investigations. in fact, he also said everything that he had been testifying to is simply his presumptions, is that right? >> that is correct. >> and so when we consider what a presumption is, it's not direct, it's not circumstantial, it's not even hearsay, in fact, we typically when we're trying the case we consider it as speculation, is that right? >> that's right. >> do courts allow speculation in? >> no. >> why not? >> because it's not reliable. >> it's inheritently unreliable it you name any democratic witness who asserted that he or she had direct evidence of those 17 that we heard from? >> we had some direct evidence on certain things. we had some direct evidence on the may 23rd meeting. and sondland gave some direct
evidence. but a lot of what we obtained has been circumstantial. >> how about with regard to personal knowledge of the quid pro quo allegation? >> well, we have not gotten to the bottom of that from a direct evidence standpoint. >> how about tying aid to investigations? >> that's correct too. >> how about political motives in asking for investigations? >> the facts surrounding that are ambiguous. >> in the nonlegalistic world when we talk about speculation, we typically use words like gossip, rumor, inukwend wednesday doe, isn't that right? >> yes. >> and isn't it true that the only direct evidence we have is that ukraine received the aid without giving anything in return. president zelensky repeatedly stated no pressure, no problem with the phone call and the relationship with mr. trump, and that the president had a legitimate concern about ukraine corruption? >> he did. and the burden sharing of european allies. >> so much has been made about the alleged desire on if an announcement of an investigation, but, again, there's no direct evidence that supports the allegation that president trump wanted merely
the announcement of an investigation. >> like i said, there's eight lines in the call transcript that goes go to what president trump said about the investigation. eight lines. >> and everything else is hearsay, incue wednesday doe, rumor, gossip, right? >> inconclusive, certainly. >> when we get into this event today and the process, we start talking about the process, were you surprised to see mr. burke, get out of his chair, move to the seat and sit down next to the chairman and start asking questions? >> i don't know if i was surprised or not. >> i tell you i was. and it looks like mr. burke has been disappeared and so that's one of the outraitt rageogeous about this process and it's been outrageous from start to finish. we've seen prejudice and bias from the president from start to finish. we have the lion's share, almost two-thirds of the members of the democrats have already voted to impeach at least once and that's before anything with regard to this july 25th telephone conversation ever took place. and we're left with a constant
view that as on november 9th, 2016, representative green from texas wanted to begin impeachment proceedings at that point, is that correct? >> yes. >> january 20th, 2017, "washington post" headline, let the impeachment begin, correct? >> yes. >> ten days light mr. xi hethe the -- tweeted out let the impeachment begin, coup begin, and kudos to the lawyers? >> i've seen that. >> they said they went on tv and said we wanted to start impeachment earlier but the speaker held us back. did you see that? >> i haven't seen that, no. i haven't seen news reports today. >> you wouldn't be surprised about that, would you? >> no. >> no, nobody should be surprised about that because this is a sham hearing. three years that they've been trying to remove this president and this is the culmination of a
predetermined outcome. that's where we are today. and so with that, we can -- we bring it back to the same points, no pressure, no conditionality, and all of the aid, meetings, calls were received by the ukrainians. with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. will you. >> thank you, chairman nadler. let's cut through the republican arguments today and make things simple. no one else in america could do what donald trump did and get away with it. no american elected official can call up a foreign government official and ask for an investigation of a political opponent. no one sitting on this judiciary committee can call up a foreign government official and ask for help in a re-election campaign. if we did that and got caught, we would likely be indicted. now, let's focus on the president abuse of power in this case, because it's actually worse than the examples i just gave. and i know that i first swore an
oath to the constitution when i joined the united states air force and active duty. and three core values i learned were integrity first, service before self, excellence in all we do. i'd like to focus on the first two. integrity first and service before self because it's engrained in our military members that we cannot mix personal duties with personal private gain. mr. goldman, in this case the $391 million at issue, that wasn't donald trump's money, that was u.s. taxpayer funds, is that right? >> yes. >> and certainly the president should not use our taxpayer money for his own personal benefit, and especially not to leverage it for some re-election campaign, isn't that right? >> that's correct. you cannot solicit foreign assistance for a re-election campaign. it's a violation of the federal
election campaign act. multiple people have gone to prison for violating various sections of that act. a reasonable person could also conclude that the president violated the empowerment control act of 1974 which congress passed as a response to president nixon's abuse of power. i'd like to explore that a little further with you, mr. goldman. in this case, congress with bipartisan support appropriated taxpayer funds for the specific purpose of aiding ukraine in its war against russia, is that right? >> yes. >> not only had that money been appropriated, the money had been released to the department of defense, is that right? >> they were about to release it, yes. >> and then suddenly without explanation the president demanded that those taxpayer funds be withheld from an ally who desperately needed aid. mr. goldman, did the president notify congress about his decision to withhold aid? >> no, he did not. >> the empowerment control act was designed to prevent the president from taking appropriated funds and doing whatever he wants with them.
so is it true that in your intelligence report you found the following finding of fact, president trump ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military assistance urgently needed by ukraine and the president did so despite his obligations under the empowerment control act. did you find that? >> yes. >> not only did the president abuse his powers for personal gain and not only was it illegal, his actions also harmed u.s. national security. so it's a fundamental tenant of u.s. national security to push back against russian aggression. ukraine's at the tip of the spear pushing back against russian aggression. is it true, mr. goldman, that harming the ukrainian military also harms u.s. national security? >> that's what pretty much every witness said. >> last week professor car lan confirmed that it is an impeachable offense to sacrifice the national interests for his own private ends, a slide show of which he said.
mr. goldman, based on the evidence that you found in your report, is it fair to conclude that the president's actions, both leveraged taxpayer funds for his own private gain, and sacrifice of national interest for his own private ends? >> that is what we found. >> i was perfectly struck by mr. holmes' testimony because it makes clear that the president did not care about foreign policy or u.s. national security. he only cared about investigating his political opponent. here's what mr. holmes said. >> ambassador sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff. i noted there was big stuff going on in ukraine, like a war with russia. ambassador sondland replied that he meant big stuff that benefits the president like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. >> look, here's the thing, if any military member used official acts for personal gain, that member would no longer be part of the military, and in fact last year a navy commander was convicted for taking things of value in exchange for
official acts. the u.s. attorney who prosecuted the case said to the commander, quote, he put his own selfish interests ahead of the navy and that of our nation, end quote. we shouldcommander to a lower standard and we should not hold the president to a different standard than any elected official. no one is above the law. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. mcclintock. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in every election one side wins and the other loses. democracy only works because the losing side always respects the will of the voters. the moment that social compact breaks down, democracy collapses into chaos. that's only happened twice in our nation's history. it happened in 1860 when the democrats refused to accept a legitimate election of abram lincoln, and it happened again in 2016 when the democrats refused to accept the legitimate election of donald trump. the issues before us today do indeed strike at the heart of
our democracy. the first calls for impeachment began just days after the 2016 election and ever since the democrats have been searching for a pretext. when the mueller investigation found no evidence to support the monstrous lie that the president acted in collusion with russia, the democrats realized they were running out of time and suddenly the ukrainian phone call replaced collusion, stormy daniels, tax returns, emoluments and even tweets as the reason to nullify the election just a year before the next one is to be held. impeachment is one of the most serious powers with which congress is entrusted. it requires an overwhelming case of high crimes supported by clear evidence that a vast majority of the nation deems compelling. our constitution vests the executive authority including the enforcement of our laws with the president and it gives him sole authority to conduct our foreign affairs. clearly this includes requesting
a foreign government to cooperate in resolving potentially corrupt and illegal interactions between that government's officials and ours. now, the sum total of the democrats' case comes down to this. not one of their hand picked witnesss provided any firsthand knowledge of the president ordering a quid pro quo, and two witnesses, sondland by testimony and senator johnson by letter, provided firsthand testimony that the president specifically ordered no quid pro quo. no testimony was provided that the ukrainian government believed that there was any quid pro quo, but there are ample public statements that its officials did not believe there was such a linkage. the testimony of their witnesses crumbled under questioning and we were left with career brew bureaucrats who admitted that the only evidence they offered was presumption, speculation and what they read in the new york times. it's this flimsy evidence that the democrats justified
nullifying the 2016 presidential election. it's so flimsy the democrats have had to turn our bill of rights on its head in order to make it. they've argued that hearsay evidence better known as gossip is better than direct testimony. they've argued that the burden of proof rests with the accused to prove his innocence while at the same time denying the defense witnesses permission to testify. they've argued that the right to confront your accuser is an invasion of the accuser's privacy. they've argued that appealing to the courts to defend your constitutional rights as the president has done is ipso facto obstruction of justice and evidence of guilt. they've asserted the power to determine what witnesses the defense is allowed to call, and they've argued that a crime is not necessarily to impeach, only impure motives in performing otherwise lawful acts, motives of course to be defined entirely by the accusers.
these are the legal doctrines of despots but the only one who can accommodate the case before us today. this is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice that will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come. god help our country if they should ever be given the power to replace our bill of rights with the doctrines that they have imposed in this process. democrats are fond of saying no one's above the law but they have one unspoken caveat, except for themselves. the speaker's already short circuited what should be a solemn, painstaking, thorough, and above all fair process by ordering her foot soldiers on this committee to draw up articles of impeachment without this committee hearing from a single fact witness. despite the fact that mr. schiff doesn't dare to appear before this committee to defend his work, we're supposed to accept
his report at face value and oh obediently follow his orders. we can only pray the senate still adheres to the judicial principles of our founders. if they do, perhaps then we can begin repairing the damage that this travesty has done to our democracy, our institutions, our principles of justice, our constitution and our country. >> the gentleman yields back. >> why is impeachment in the constitution? well, the framers feared a president might corrupt our elections by dragging foreign powers into our politics in order to promote the personal political ambitions of the president above the rule of law and above the national security. the framers set against a potential tyrant's boundless thirst for power, the people's
representatives here in congress and the people's own democratic ambitions, our self-respect, our love for freedom and the rule of law, our fierce constitutional patriotism. now, it looked like president trump might get away with his ukraine shakedown. after all, most americans didn't know anything about it and the few who learned of it would be too afraid, too intimidated to cross the most powerful man on earth. president trump could rest easy, but if donald trump misjudged the american character, the framers of our constitution did not. i count 17 honorable public servants who came forward to testify over the intimidation and disparagement of the president, is that right, mr. goldman? >> yes, 17. >> i counted dozens of state department and national security officials who served democrat and republican presidents over